A noteworthy review of Our Presidents from Children's Literature on January 1, 2002
This entry in the well-written ‘Our Presidents’ series provides an overview of Martin Van Buren’s, early years in New York, his support of states’ rights, his rise in politics, and his handling of the nation’s first depression. All illustrations, except one of Van Buren in l848, are taken from art and cartoons of the day. One-page sections include one about bank problems, Van Buren’s immigrant forebears 200 years earlier, and ‘The Peggy Eaton Affair.’ Sidebars add interesting facts and picture captions are informative and lengthy enough to inform casual browsers. Each book in the series ends with a glossary defining highlighted words in the text, a timeline specific to the president’s life, a complete table of presidents through George W. Bush with their home states, life spans, presidential spans, political party and the name of their first ladies. Included are a page of ‘Presidential Facts’ and numerous web sites and relevant suggested other resources, as well as an index. All in all, it’s a strong, informative, and very readable contribution to the literature about presidents for upper elementary and middle school readers.
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